Title: Someone Like You
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: YA Fiction
How I Read It: Paperback purchased by me.
Synopsis: Life is an ugly, awful place not to have a best friend…
Halley and Scarlett have been best friends ever since they met. Halley has always been the quiet one, Scarlett braver and more outgoing. Halley has always turned to Scarlett when things get rough, and Scarlett has always known just what to do. It’s the perfect setup.
But everything changes at the beginning of their junior year. Scarlett’s boyfriend is killed in a motorcycle accident; then Scarlett finds out that she is carrying his baby. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley.
Now Halley has to learn how to be strong for Scarlett. It won’t be easy, but Halley knows that she can’t let Scarlett down. Because a true friend is a promise you keep forever.
My Review: One of my favorite things about Sarah Dessen is how realistic she can be when it comes to how it felt to be a teenager. It’s something that I think we tend to forget as adults, but reading one of her books really brings me back to how it all was. In fact, I would say that any parent to a teenage girl would be wise to pick up some Dessen as a method to better understanding their daughter.
Although Scarlett’s pregnancy is certainly an important part of this book, the story is shown from Halley’s perspective. This gives a great insight into what it’s like for a teenager going through a lot of different things – high school is hard enough when everything is as normal as possible, let alone dealing with your best friend being pregnant, and having your first relationship with a bad boy.
What really struck me was that in the scheme of things, Halley could be considered the “good” one out of her and Scarlett, yet Halley’s mom treats her like she’s the one who has ended up pregnant. Granted, I wouldn’t love the idea of my daughter breaking curfew and hanging out with a boy I didn’t know, but Dessen does a great job of reminding you that…this is what being a teenager is like. Regardless of how good or bad my boyfriends were in high school, I didn’t want to introduce them to my parents because it would be like giving up some independence. And honestly, breaking curfew and cutting classes is the least of the bad things a kid can be doing!
I had also forgotten what life was like before cell phones – this book was written in 1998 and we so didn’t have phones like the kids do now. It made for an interesting dynamic that just doesn’t happen anymore, with parents having more control over when the kids can use the phone, yet less of an idea about where your kids are at when they aren’t home. I loved this little reminder of what things were like back when I was in high school.
This is definitely considered young adult fiction, but I loved it nonetheless. There’s a lot of YA stuff out there that I read and just can’t get into, but Sarah Dessen is never one of them. I feel like her books always tell a story I can identify with, even though I haven’t been a teenager for quite some time. And for the record, I totally do not miss high school.
Read this book if: Any fan of Sarah Dessen will like this, and I honestly think it’s something everyone should read.
My Rating: 3.5/5 – Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun!